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Tesla Motors, Inc. Introduces New Features for Model S and X

By Daniel Sparks – Nov 7, 2016 at 11:16AM

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Tesla aims to attract new customers with fresh, new options.

Electric-car maker Tesla Motors (TSLA -1.37%) announced new features for its Model S sedan and Model X SUV on Friday. The updates to the two vehicles come just ahead of the holidays, as Tesla sets its sights on record deliveries.

Model S (left) and Model X (right) Images source: The Motley Fool.

Fold-flat seats and an all-glass roof

The two new features to come to Model X and Model S on Friday were foldable second-row seats for the Model X and an all-glass roof option for the Model S.

Available only in a five-seat configuration, Tesla's foldable second-row seats for Model X play a key role in boosting the cargo space for the SUV.

"Designed with a 60/40 split to recline separately or fold entirely flat, this opens up 88 cubic feet of interior cargo storage," Tesla's website notes. This gives Tesla the "largest interior storage capacity of its class," the company notes, putting Model X ahead of SUVs like the Audi Q7, Volvo CX90, and the Ford Flex.

Tesla Model X interior. Image source: The Motley Fool.

"It's a feature that a lot of Model X reservation holders were waiting for," according to Electrek.

The Model X's five-seat option with foldable seats comes standard with the SUV. Six- and seven-seat options are available for $3,000 and $5,000, respectively.

For the Model S, Tesla announced a new option for an all-glass roof, which removes the center crossbar across the top of the roof for the most expansive overhead view in a Model S yet. This option builds on previous choices between a solid roof or a sunroof.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, in a tweet on Friday, expressed particular fondness for the new all-glass roof: "I highly recommend the new all glass roof on the Model S. This was very hard to develop, but it makes the interior feel amazing."

Even Tesla's website urges customers to order the glass roof, saying it is "Tesla Recommended for an open, expansive cabin feel."

All-glass roof on the Model S. Image source: Tesla Motors.

Tesla's glass roof option will set customers back $1,500. The solid roof comes standard and the panoramic sunroof is available as a $2,000 option.

New features nd higher sales

These two new options for Model S and X come as vehicle sales soar. Tesla likely hopes these new features will help sustain record levels of vehicle deliveries for the two models ahead of Tesla's highly anticipated Model 3 launch late next year.

Model X, in particular, is benefiting from higher sales recently, with deliveries hitting nearly 9,000 units in the company's most recent quarter -- up from about 4,600 units in the prior quarter. As production catches up to demand, the addition of a five-seat option may be just the first of a number of updates whose purpose is to help demand.

These new features join other notable updates this year to Model S and Model X, including an updated look to the front of Model S and new cameras and sensors for enhanced driver-assist features (and an eventual rollout of autonomous driving capabilities) on both Model S and X.

Daniel Sparks owns shares of Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla Motors. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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